Hey, wow, what do you know? I’m blogging again! It’s been quite some time, for very good reasons. The one advice I got for the summer before grad school was to “get rest,” as was my biggest goal for May-August. Apparently, life happened differently than I would’ve planned on, and most of that rest wasn’t gotten. That’s okay because I grew a TON and had a deep experience of life and I can’t wait to share more about that here. It seems this summer has made an impression on me that won’t be quickly forgotten, as its memory hasn’t much faded despite this new season of life in Blacksburg.
So, I’ve been doing a million things the past four weeks that can be summed up into one word: studying. If I added a second word it would be homework. No third word is applicable here, pretty much. The previous three weeks were: vacation. And settling-in. And before that we’re back in Colorado.
Anyway now, I’ve had grand ambitions to make baguettes, since reading 2345341 books on the French lifestyle, including French Women Don’t Get Fat. There was a recipe from a French chef on how to make baguettes, so naturally, as oogling as I was over the French life, I wanted to be able to make my own classic loaf. I attempted with a terrible misinterpretation, whence the inside of the box failed me, and I missed crucial instructions. My gluten-free bread didn’t rise, due to the lack of manipulations for making bread with yeast.
Around the time of this failure I became acquainted with Jovial Foods, and ordered some gluten-free products with a discount code I had gotten, and figured I would try this “einkorn” stuff too. One of my (founded) theories about my gluten intolerance has to do with the way that wheat flour has changed over the past century. Einkorn side-steps this cause of the digestional issue, being an ancient form of wheat – the only non-hybridized form in existence. The good people at Jovial Foods are the largest producers of Einkorn wheat in the world, are based in Italy, and offer delicious products like crackers and pasta as well as flour.
Gluten-free flour, or in this case ancient wheat flour (that doesn’t have the same form of problematic gluten as today’s wheat), is never inexpensive, but I ponied up the money for a bag of einkorn flour (it really isn’t that bad, just not a usual line item in the grocery budget and it was a risk having never tried it before). Then we started moving and you know the rest of the story, so it wasn’t until this weekend that I was able to utilize my kitchen and time to make some baguettes!
I received the Einkorn cookbook, by one of the founders of Jovial Foods, from Blogging for Books for free (in compensation for this blog post, which is of course my own opinions). I was psyched to get the cookbook, since I was already familiar with einkorn products, and had some flour begging to be used (but also desiring to be rationed, in the depths of my cheapskate heart). There was even a link to a baguette recipe on the Jovial Foods Facebook page that one of the members of the company directed me to after I asked for it! But what’s great about the book is that it doesn’t just have one recipe, or the standard Italian pasta and bread options, there are so many delicious-looking foods represented.
The baguettes turned out great, and it was very easy to follow the recipe – a must when you’re investing a decent chunk of money on ingredients, and ~24 hours worth of time from start to finish! The key to a baguette is its crispy crust, and I’m happy to report that my crust was perfectly crunchy-crispy, and the inside warm and soft. I was worried when it was hard to cut through the crust, but once I reached the plush inside I remembered that that’s how it’s supposed to be. 😉 Since the baguettes turned out so well (I made 3 mini ones instead of full-size, so I could have some flour leftover), I can’t wait to try some of the other bread recipes! (Umm, like ciabatta?? I miss Panera!) But first, I want to make some muffins. It’s hard not being able to have my old “regular” (glutenized) standards, but with einkorn I am able to eat baked goods with a much more similar texture to regular flour products, and it’s healthier too! (More proteins!)